Physical Exercise as a tool to help the immune system against COVID-19: An integrative review of the current literature
The main point of the article are as follows:
- Moderate intensity exercise (exercise where you are puffed and can’t maintain a conversation at the same time) or strength based training (working to 70% of your maximum strength capacity of your major muscle groups) have a direct effect on the health, the age and effectiveness of your immune system.
Moderate intensity physical activity is responsible for providing an increase in the response of your major immune cells, such as the macrophages and at the same time elevations in the circulation of other immune cells and immunoglobulin. This not only primes the immune system to be more effectively to fight disease, but also reduces the burden of disease on organs such as the lungs and risk of lung damage due to your body’s inflammatory response.
- Regular moderate intensity exercise has the contradictory and dual effect of both improving the response to infection by increasing and improving your major immune cells such as the lymphocytes, natural killer cells, immature B cells and Monocytes, your immunovigilance. However at the same time, also reduces your overall stress hormone levels, reducing your systemic inflammatory process. This has the effect of reducing both the mortality (death rate) and morbidity (the damaging effect of) respiratory and other diseases.
- More specifically, strength-based exercise enhances the expression of a natural anti-oxidant (extracellular superoxide dismutase enzyme (EcSOD)), which is highly present in the lungs, which reduces inflammatory adhesions, oxidative stress and tissue damage in COVID-19
What is the right amount of exercise to protect yourself?
- Adults should perform strength training, at least 2 times a week, which involves most major muscle groups, at an intensity 70-85% of the muscle’s maximum intensity.
- Adults should perform 150 minutes (or 5 times 30 minutes) of moderate intensity (Which means that you are somewhat puffed and you can’t easily hold a conversation during the activity) of aerobic exercise each week.
What is too much exercise?
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